It’s Late

Sunny June weather has been a bit late arriving. I have seen a couple of comments on social media in the past few days…”If it gets any colder I’m getting the Christmas tree out”; “Isn’t it great now the light nights are here so you can see the rain for longer” and “this June is the warmest December on record”. It has warmed a bit in this last week and it is becoming dryer with a sunnier forecast. After mooring up we actually went to a cafe and sat outside to have lunch.

We enjoyed our lunch. We did keep our fleeces on and it was breezy, but we had also spotted an added attraction outside. A pop up theatre was performing at one o’clock. While we were eating we could hear them warming up their potential audience, saying “why go to Edinburgh festival, let the festival come to you.” Having been in Edinburgh during the festival, I can think of thousands of reasons why you might want to go there in stead, but the cost of accommodation is off putting. We like a bit of serendipity, so we thought we would see what it was like.

We moved to be nearer to hear them as a windy day with a highly directional single mike, meant the open air venue had poor acoustics. Added to that conversations around us and children playing nearby made it harder. The popup theatre wasn’t a full show it turned out but taster scenes from two productions that they were still rehearsing. One or both were trying to raise money to get to Edinburgh. I once, over a decade ago, heard a theatre group, walking through the crowds in the Royal Mile, singing loudly “we owe the venue a thousand pounds” in a last ditch attempt to plead for ticket sales. One was a local drama group, The Beeston Players, and their play seemed to be about awkward social and emotional interactions, a staple for comedy. The first group of people to perform were The Parky Players. Their aim was not just to entertain but to educate and raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease. Four of the people performing had a Parkinson’s diagnosis. They had cleverly immersed the show in a James Bond theme and named it Shaken, Not Stirred. I was slow to connect the famous Bond line with common symptoms of Parkinson’s. Dr No, stroking a stuffed cat, dispelled misconceptions about the disease, for example.

Questioner: Does it only affect middle aged and elderly men?

Dr No: No!

Questioner: Do people with Parkinson’s get free prescriptions for the medication they need ?

Dr No : No!

Two diagnosed women were in the group to prove the point and the prescriptions question was clarified. In England their medications were not free, but in Scotland it was a different story. If they do want to come to Edinburgh then that clarification is well worth making.

An ex Bond girl with Parkinson’s, Honey Levodopa, was contemplating finding love on a dating site. An older unfit James Bond was put through his paces to get in shape to fight villains by a personal trainer. All the exercises were recommended for a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s, apparently.

I applaud the players for putting such positivity into a receiving a difficult diagnosis. It all put me in mind of my late brother in law who had Parkinson’s and died last September. He persisted in having a sense of humour, an interest in others, a strong sense of independence and a cheery disposition, despite all the difficulties he faced. As I watched this on Father’s day, I thought of my nieces and nephew who would no doubt be missing him.

We went for a walk in the afternoon, staying dry but having to dance round puddles. The walk was around a flood plain so this was obviously not wet by their standards. A flood wall had been put up but a sign for a circular path remained though the wall blocked the route.

Picnic table on the flood plain.

In the evening, Shane went a bike ride into Nottingham to look at the moorings there and my friend Peter phoned so I had a good chat with him. He had some worrying news about a friend and his own medical sagas moving slowly and it all made me feel how lucky we are to be as healthy as we are. It was rather late by then but we did both do a blog up till bedtime.

The next day we decided it wasn’t a good place for painting. I don’t relish painting but the weather has to be right for it and we have been waiting for a lack of rain. There were still some small showers forecast though. We decided the air was dry enough to get washing done.

We are trying two firsts this week to use a postal vote and to use post restante for the deliveries. We have arranged to use Nottingham but we can moor for two days there and getting there early is not advantageous. For a change it was better to be late than early. As we have no time restriction here, we might as well wait for a while. We were visited by some older cygnets and swans who were unimpressed by the things we fed them but liked noseying in the side hatch.

Late in the afternoon Shane suddenly remembered something he wanted to show me from his bike riide, but had forgotten. He didn’t tell me what it was, but a little way along he showed me a sign by the canal. He was hoping for a wildlife sighting.

Notice to fishermen to not block the bank to let the martins reach their nests

We saw a few flying. He had seen more the night before but perhaps because it was later in the day. We strolled along and saw more notices and our family of cygnets and a heron.

Swans coming over hoping for something better this time.

I saw some sand martins swooping to the bank and out again. The nesting wall was on our side to invisible to us and they moved so fast I thought I couldn’t get a picture. Our Merlin app called them bank swallows which was odd as they had identified sand martins before but the app has had an upgrade. Shane found how to switch it from US to British English and then it said sand martins. It was lovely to see them and again I remembered my brother in law Bobby who had done conservation work in his retirement, building sites to attract sand martins to nest again on the coast by the Tay. I tried to get them in the sky as the water was a murky background then found they were hard to see far away.

You will need to zoom in to see the little bird shapes

I found getting their reflection in the water was a bonus. The later time brings out the insects they like to feed on and they seemed to be feeding young too, darting into the bank near us. It was a bonus to have left our walk until late in the day.